Navigation Links
We Love Our Pets and Grieve When They Die
Date:10/8/2007

California Veterinary Medical Association Offers Grief Guidance to Help

Owners Cope

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- When Alex, an African Grey Parrot famous for his advanced recognition and language skills died last month, his owner, scientist Irene Pepperberg, needed time to grieve over the loss of her pal before she could talk about it. Newspapers and web sites printed his obituary and many people sent condolences. What Pepperberg experienced is a common response to a pet's death. The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) advises that the grief process is a continuum, with each owner and family member handling pet loss in his or her own way.

"We love our pets and feel grief when they die. People need to be given the space and freedom to grieve for their pets," said Dr. Jeff Smith, president of the CVMA. "A person can be traumatized over the loss of an animal."

Veterinarians are available to counsel bereaved pet owners through their loss, particularly, when a family must make a decision to euthanize an older, ill or severely injured animal. Through that experience, many individuals are overcome with emotion and cast blame on themselves for cutting a pet's life short. They may go through many stages of grief that could include shock, denial, anger, depression and, finally, acceptance and resolution. But the process is never easy, and it's important people know they can seek comfort in many places. The CVMA offers a web site, "It's About Pets," with information on pet loss and the human-animal bond (go to http://www.itsaboutpets.net).

"Veterinarians understand better than many what pet owners are going through because often they have seen that pet through a lifetime of care," Dr. Smith. "Many times the pet owner and doctor develop a bond of trust and friendship so a veterinarian can offer support or refer clients to local pet bereavement counselors for additional guidance."

According to the CVMA, children may need extra care after the death of a pet as they make their way through the grieving process. Families also should pay attention to reactions of other animals in the household. Pets form very close attachments with each other and will grieve by showing signs of restlessness, anxiety and depression.

Veterinarians offer these tips on how to help children, surviving animals and pet owners work through their loss:

Children

-- Give the child permission to go through the stages of grief

-- Tell their teacher about the pet's death

-- Encourage the child to talk freely about the pet

-- Give the child hugs and reassurance

-- Discuss death, dying and grief honestly

-- Include the child in everything going on

-- Explain the permanency of death

Other Pets

-- Keep surviving pets' routines as normal as possible

-- Try not to unintentionally reinforce behavioral changes

-- If the pet's appetite is picky, don't keep changing its food, which

will make it more finicky

-- Don't overcompensate for the loss with extra attention to the surviving

pet, which could lead to separation anxiety

-- Don't rush out and get a new pet to help with the grieving process --

wait until the pet and the family is ready

Healing

-- Give yourself permission to grieve

-- Memorialize your pet

-- Surround yourself with people who understand your loss

-- Accept feelings that come with grief

-- Indulge yourself in small pleasures.

-- Don't be afraid to get help

-- Call your veterinarian for advice

Despite the universality of death, there is no right or wrong way to recover from a pet dying. By relying on family, friends and your veterinarian, the grieving process can unfold in a manner that works best for you.

The California Veterinary Medical Association is the largest state veterinary medical association in the United States, with more than 5,600 members. Founded in 1888, its mission is to serve its membership and community through innovative leadership and to improve animal and human health in an ethically and socially responsible manner.


'/>"/>
SOURCE California Veterinary Medical Association
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet today announces ... The print component of “Revolutionizing Cancer Care” is distributed within the February 12 ... Seattle, with a circulation of approximately 250,000 copies and an estimated readership of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... US Sport Camps is pleased to announce ... located in Norwalk, serves as the host site and directing the camps is PGA ... have had successful camps in recent years around Des Moines and are fortunate to ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... in the field of long term care. With that, says Patrick Loughney, president ... professionals in administrative roles in long term care environments. His company, which offers ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... the exception of restorative dentistry, to date there has been no other option in the ... FDA, there is a now a new protocol in stopping cavity progression; Silver Diamine Fluoride ... to apply. The application is as simple as drying the tooth and applying the ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... , ... According to an article published February 1st on Consumer ... is being recalled due to the discovery that it contains dangerous adulterants. According to ... supplement on the market proven to help people safety lose excess weight, such cases ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016  Kindred ... focused on saving and improving the lives of pets, ... Technical Section of the New Animal Drug Application (NADA) ... the pivotal field study (KB0120) of Zimeta for the ... by the Company. --> ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Potrero Medical, Inc., the developer of the Accuryn™ critical care ... George M. Rapier, III , MD, to its Board of ... is one of the nation,s largest physician owned practice management ... Texas and Florida . ... medicine practice, he has been instrumental to the company,s growth ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  AfterPill.com is reporting ... recommend alcohol abstinence for all women who are at ... the U.S. each year and raises the risks of ... --> According to the Guttmacher Institute, ... of women of child-bearing age, who have sex without ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: